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03 Dec
NYU Torch Club
Dec 3, 2012 | 6:30 PM-8:00 PM


Dean's Roundtable with Paul Lee

Join Paul in a lively discussion on his career with ABC Entertainment Group and the television industry. Don’t miss this chance to get some great insight and advice from a top executive!

Seats are limited.
Snacks will be served.

About the Speaker

Paul Lee is president of the ABC Entertainment Group, a position he has held since July 2010. In this role Lee has oversight of all creative and business operations for ABC Studios, as well as all development, programming, marketing and scheduling operations for ABC Entertainment. He also oversees entertainment programming for syndication and ABC Daytime via Times Square Studios. He reports to Anne Sweeney, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of the Disney/ABC Television Group.

During the 2011-12 season, ABC had 2 of the Top 10 scripted shows among Adults 18-49: Grey’s Anatomy - No. 5 and Once Upon a Time - No. 7. ABC claimed the No. 1 drama on television in the young adult demo with Grey’s Anatomy and the No. 1 new drama with Once Upon a Time. The network is also home to the critically acclaimed fan favorite, Revenge.

For the 2012-13 season, Lee shepherded in new series with industry heavyweights and veterans, including Alyssa Milano (Charmed, Melrose Place) and Yunjin Kim (Lost) in Mistresses; Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights) and Hayden Panettiere (Heroes) in Nashville; motion picture producer Lorenzo DiBonaventura (Transformers, GI Joe franchise, Salt, Red) for Zero Hour; country music superstar Reba McEntire and comic legend Lily Tomlin (Laugh-In, Nashville) in Malibu Country; and writer Dan Fogelman (Cars, Tangled) for The Neighbors.

Prior to becoming president of ABC Entertainment Group, Lee led ABC Family from 2004-2010, where he revitalized the cable channel with an ambitious slate of original and acquired programs. In conceiving the mission of the network, he launched a plan to target the young adult Millennial audience on multiple platforms with relatable programming like Kyle XY, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Pretty Little Liars, Greek, Make It Or Break It and Huge. The network is also home to the biggest programming event on cable with 25 Days of Christmas. Under Lee, ABC Family had an amazing six+ years of consecutive growth.

ABC Family also made the most of new platforms to connect viewers with content. The industry recognized this push for creativity and innovation on this front by awarding ABC Family a 2007 Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Interactive Television, as well as an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media the following year.

Prior to joining ABC Family, Lee was chief executive officer and founder of BBC America, and was responsible for the development and launch of the company in March 1998, starting as general manager and then chief operating officer. During his tenure, the hit comedy series The Office (British version) garnered two Golden Globes. Other shows under his supervision included the BBC’s Changing Rooms, which formatted into TLC’s signature show, Trading Spaces, What Not to Wear and the Graham Norton Show.

Before arriving stateside, Lee spent several years at the BBC, ultimately serving as channel editor for BBC Prime, the company’s 24-hour entertainment channel.

He started his career as a reporter assigned to Belfast, Northern Ireland, at a particularly critical period in the conflict. Upon returning to London, he segued into entertainment, where he became a producer, director and showrunner, going on to earn a BAFTA and a BANFF Award for the BBC documentary series Arena for his portrait of Woody Guthrie.

In 1990 Lee branched out into drama, traveling to Moscow to direct and produce Oblomov, starring George Wendt of Cheers fame. He also produced, directed and wrote TV movies. Before joining the BBC in 1984, Lee worked as an assistant production manager on novelas at the Brazilian national network Rede Globo in Rio de Janeiro.

Lee holds an MA in modern languages (Portuguese and Russian) from Oxford University in England.